Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Recipes for Restaurateurs Author Provides Earth Day Marketing Recipe for April

RECIPE: Celebrate Earth Day

The public has become more aware of Earth Day in recent years, with the growing popularity of the “green” movement. Recycling, saving energy and water, planting more trees, and using reusable items and solar energy are among the common tactics many people are using to combat global warming and help the environment. Different businesses are supporting the “green” initiative, and are rolling out Earth Day promotions.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, for example, is selling recycled lunch bags made from dilapidated Chipotle billboards in their online store. If a guest buys one of these lunch bags by April 14, and brings it to any Chipotle location on April 22 (Earth Day), he or she will receive a free meal. Proceeds from the sale of these lunch bags will go to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, to support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education. Source: Nation’s Restaurant News, “Chipotle rolls out Earth Day promotion,” Lisa Jennings.

There are many different ways to get involved on Earth Day, and many different promotions that you can develop. As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers; use this opportunity to hand out seed packets in honor of Earth Day on April 22. Guests will enjoy receiving an added bonus at your restaurant, and will also appreciate the sentiment.

Ingredients Needed:

þ Seed packets (flowers, vegetables, etc.)
þ Business cards or pamphlets from seed packet provider
þ Bins to store seed packets in
þ Flyers and/or posters to advertise the promotion in-store
þ A smaller flyer to use in table tents, check presenters, and take-out/delivery orders
þ E-blast to send out to e-club and rewards members
þ Social media presence to promote the giveaway (Facebook and Twitter)


1.Visit your local greenhouse, hardware store, garden center, or florist, and ask if they would like to run a cross promotion with your restaurant and/or donate seed packets in honor of Earth Day.

· In either case, the retailer could attach business cards to the seed packets, or small pamphlets for promote their business.

· Your restaurant’s team members should hand out all materials to all guests, and convey that the seed packets were donated by the local business.

2.Explain to the retailer that the promotion would be seen as a kind gesture in the community, and would also increase exposure of their business to customers in a separate sector.

· Provide the retailer with a rough estimate of the number of seed packets that you will need.

· Let the retailer know what type of promotional backing will accompany the seed packet giveaway.

3.After you figure out the details of the promotion, advertise the seed packet giveaway at your restaurant (posters, table tents, check presenters), as well as on your restaurant’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and send an e-blast to your rewards members and e-club.

4.Once the promotion begins, have all seed packet in bins behind the counter, ready to be passed out to guests.

5.Instruct the restaurant’s team members to distribute the packets to guests at the end of each transaction.


1. When discussing the possible promotion with local retailers (green house, hardware store, garden center, or florist), present the information so the retailer will clearly see how their business will benefit.

a. Make sure that you let them know that you would like them to attach business cards or information about their business to each see packet for your guests to see.

b. Mention that a seed packet will be given to every guest—this will be good PR for the retailer.

2. If you want to use the retailer’s logo or other information in your promotional materials (flyers, posters, e-blasts, etc.), make sure you get their approval before you do so.

3. Let local groups know about your promotion—distribute flyers at schools, after-school care, music and sports groups, office buildings, etc.

4. Encourage your guests to plant their seeds! If space allows, create a square of soil outside your restaurant and invite guests to plant their seeds in this plot in the following weeks.
a. Take pictures once the seeds start to grow—you’ll be able to show off your before and after pictures in your restaurant!

b. If there is a school, daycare, or children’s group near by, come up with a watering schedule and coordinate to have a group of children come by once each week to water the seeds.

Written by Linda Duke, author of Recipes for Restaurateurs and chief executive of Duke Marketing, LLC.

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